Friday, January 14, 2011

The Daily's launch gets pushed back over subscription issue; delay due to timing of the next iOS update?

So scratch that San Francisco Museum of Modern Art event from your calendar -- ain't happening, at least not next Wednesday. Peter Kafka of the WSJ is reporting that the event has been pushed back to a yet to be determined date due to "a new subscription feature that Apple is building into iTunes."

Translation: the new iOS update isn't ready to be launched yet, and that update is needed to make the new subscription mechanism work -- or so I am guessing.

According to the WSJ story, Kafka heard that the delay will be “for weeks, not months,” -- which makes sense since most writers are assuming that Apple will be scheduling an event some time around the last week of January and early February to unveil their plans for iPad 2 (and that iOS update).

The whole timing of the Murdoch event seemed strange to me from the beginning. Why the 19th? wouldn't that be well before Apple's own iPad 2 event? and therefore before the launch of any new version of iOS? I rationalized this scheduling by assuming that Murdoch's new tablet-only news product was designed to use the same subscription services currently available to iOS publishers -- the options that many publishers say they are dissatisfied with.

That appears not to be the case. Instead, the new tablet-only publication may need the iOS update to have its subscription mechanism function properly (pure speculation on my part).

Some rumors stated that the update would appear in December, and that it would include subscription changes specifically included to support Murdoch's project -- that didn't happen obviously. Now the expectation is that the update will arrive around the time Apple's new iPad is shipped (or at its announcement). And that may be when we will see a rescheduled event for The Daily.

Update (11:30 AM ET): While News Corp. has delayed its SF event, HP has set a time for their tablet event -- February 9th, where they are expected to unveil the PalmPad. The HP tablet will run WebOS and will supposedly blow everyone away . . . or not.